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New Gillingham signing Bondz N'Gala can't play for the club because of FIFA regulations

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham’s newest signing isn’t allowed to play for the club.

The Gills announced the signing of Bondz N'Gala this afternoon but then became aware of new FIFA rulings which have now scuppered the move.

N’Gala has already played for League 2 Barnet and Eastleigh, in the National League, and therefore cannot play for the Gills.

Gills boss Ady Pennock Picture Andy Jones

Gills boss Ady Pennock Picture: Andy Jones

A club statement said: “Unbeknown to the EFL and Gillingham Football Club, FIFA, football's governing body, modified their rules and regulations regarding player appearances and contracts for the 2016/17 season.

“The new law lists National League sides as professional clubs; as a result, players are only permitted to make competitive appearances for a maximum of two teams they are contracted to during any one campaign.

“As a result of defender Bondz N'Gala playing for both Barnet (Sky Bet League Two) and Eastleigh (National League) during the 2016/17 season, this unhelpful regulation means that he will not be able to play for Gillingham FC.

“Club chairman Paul Scally and head coach Ady Pennock are both extremely disappointed by this outcome. However, the club were not made aware of this regulation, one that has also scuppered signings at other EFL clubs in the past 48 hours.”

Bondz N'Gala signing a contract with the Gills, before they found out he couldn't play Picture Gillingham FC

Bondz N'Gala signing a contract with the Gills, before they found out he couldn't play Picture: Gillingham FC

N'Gala joined the Gills on the same day as they agreed to let midfielder Billy Knott join Lincoln City on loan.

Gillingham have been searching for a new central defender since head coach Pennock arrived at the club and N’Gala’s arrival appeared to have solved that hunt.

But they will now be scouring the free agent market once again, as the deadline for contracted players has already passed.

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